In the ’50s, “intuition” was deemed a fuzzy female attribute. The dominant culture dismissed their input as emotional nonsense, yet women were very attuned and knew things. In hindsight, had men and women both recognized intuition as our innate human ability, we’d have grown in consciousness. Intuition is the sixth sense, an inner voice that allows us to receive and follow messages without conscious awareness of their source.

Children have this ability naturally. As a girl, I was aware of so much more than what the five senses conveyed. This tall, scrawny girl with large brown saucer eyes would stare at and take in everything. I could read the minds of adults; I had vivid dreams. My dad and I shared our dreams over breakfast, and he’d interpret them. He told me he was named after Joseph the Dreamer; with his background in psychology, his interpretations were spot on. From age 7 and up, I was encouraged to explore my dreams, my thoughts, my impressions and my imagination. I was fortunate.

Once outside of the supportive sanctuary created by my parents, I questioned and canceled every clear impression I had. My thoughts and feelings did not match those of the popular kids. There was no one to blame for this; I might have been stronger in character. Had I known myself, I would have trusted my inner guidance — irrespective of what others mirrored back.

What I’m saying through these memoirs is that the process of tapping into intuition does not concern itself with adding anything at all. It involves, rather, the return to a more innocent state. This idea is similar to what Cedric Red Feather emphasizes about the spiritual journey: “It’s not a matter of adding things on,” he often admonishes, “instead, we are taking things away.” We lose our attachments to all the acquired nonsense and artifice to reveal our inherent legacy of intuitive awareness.

How do we return to this creative point of origin?

First, we must acknowledge that intuition already resides within. Cedric explains, “Intuition is the little voice inside. When we pay attention to it, it directs us what to do. It’s natural. Everyone has this.” It’s true. Whether we label the small voice our Higher Self, our Guide, our Guardian Angel, Spirit Helper or inner knowing, at some point we realize we need only look inside for answers. We can pose a question, be still, and wait for clear guidance.

Many times, intuition surfaces as a “nagging feeling” that something isn’t quite right. Instead of patiently waiting for clues to its source, we will quickly search for some distraction to hide from discomfort. Sometimes, we’ll have a surge of positive emotion, indicating the presence of a Higher Guide. The next time a strong inner urging prompts, pause, be still, and look within. Something or someone is trying to get our attention.

How do we evaluate these signals from our intuitive self? The simple answer is to trust them. Self-love and self-respect are, of course, prerequisites for trusting this inner “advice.” Trusting the inner voice means carrying forward the true essence of ourselves, which helps us make better choices in fulfilling our life’s purpose. To disregard such clear direction is to ignore a great internal force trying to steer us and keep us on a true and authentic path.

Listening is a crucial step with intuitive perception. Pay attention to subtle changes in our physical or emotional state. Usually, amid the din and distraction of electronic gadgets, we don’t make much time to go within. That would mean “introspection,” we reason, as though it were some tedious, geeky personality trait. Listening and attending to bodily signals is vital to sensing energetic signals.

Consciousness is beginning to recognize that intuition is not an esoteric skill that descends upon the shoulders of a magical, privileged few like manna from Heaven. We all have this intuitive capability: it’s a question of how often and how willing we are to trust and access it. Try tuning in to the intuitive self every day, until it becomes a habit of seeing. You will soon recognize that a guided life is an authentic and peaceful one.

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Janet Michele Red Feather
Janet Michele Red Feather, J.D., M.A., is a ceremonial singer who has learned over 60 traditional songs in Mandan and Lakota and sings in nine different languages. Janet was a full-time defense litigator in California for nearly eight years. Her life changed significantly after she traveled to North Dakota in 1993 to fast and pray for a way of life. A regular columnist for The Edge, she has also appeared in Psychic Guidepost, FATE Magazine and Species Link. Her book, Song of the Wind (2014, Galde Press), dealt with her experiences as an empath, and her journey through Mandan spiritual culture. She is currently a full-time, tenured English faculty member at Normandale Community College, having taught Composition and Literature for a span of 20 years.

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